Home Gaming RetroArch, a truly magical emulator front-end, is coming to Steam

RetroArch, a truly magical emulator front-end, is coming to Steam

1 min read

Gamers who require a little more of that historic retro experience will be able to emulate older systems all through the comfort of Steam


Not gonna lie, I’ve been on a whirlwind tour of Nintendo’s history this past month. Playing through their Super Nintendo library with the help of my trusty SNES Classic has been a fantastic experience, being able to go back and look at some of the landmark titles that helped lay a lot of the groundwork we see in game design today. That’s the wonder of emulation, the ability to run software on systems that may not necessarily support it and RetroArch has been at the forefront of the emulation game for some time now. In fact, it looks like RetroArch has proved so popular that it’ll be making its way to Steam later this month.


RetroArch basically functions as an emulation hub, a program on your computer that allows users to simulate various different hardware in order to run specific games. Fancy an attempt at the world record for the Super Mario Bros. speed run but don’t have an NES? Just load up the NES module on RetroArch and run the ROM of Super Mario Bros! Which is where this gets a little more complicated, unfortunately. You see, while there’s nothing wrong with emulating hardware many companies (like Nintendo and SEGA) aren’t happy for people to distribute the ROMs for their older games free of charge. Recently, Nintendo threw a fat lawsuit at two ROM distributor sites, LoveROMS and LoveRETRO, that resulted in a $12 million settlement.


Which sort of makes me wonder about the setup of RetroArch on Steam. Again, there’s nothing inherently illegal about emulating older games but to do so will obviously require those illegal ROMs and I can’t see many large publishers being comfortable with making the system that requires such software more accessible and convenient to the public. Guess we’ll just have to see what happens after RetroArch goes live on Steam on July 30th.

Last Updated: July 15, 2019


  1. Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

    July 15, 2019 at 11:27

    I see JURASSIC PARK!!!! WOO!

    That little fucker was so difficult but so enjoyable. Maybe I have rose-tinted glasses.


    • Spathi

      July 15, 2019 at 11:27

      Loved (HATED) that game. Mostly because I sucked at gaming though.


      • Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

        July 15, 2019 at 12:39

        Same here! Loved and hated it at the same time. It predicted my future dynamics with women lol


  2. Pariah

    July 15, 2019 at 11:43

    I quite like how Citra did things – to set it up requires you sync your own 3DS in order to emulate. This includes games – basically it’s difficult (though of course, not impossible) to use it to pirate stuff.

    But yeah ROMs are the biggest question I have about this. How does that work? Is this an opportunity for the publishers to make some money by selling the games for this app? Seems like a win-win.


  3. Skyblue

    July 15, 2019 at 19:09

    I have a different take on ROMS. Having built a home arcade for myself and my growing kids (who only play modern games now) they were exposed to some of the best arcade/8-Bit/16-Bit/32-Bit games ever made… they hated most of them. So I essentially built a self-gratification unit which hardly ever gets utilised but is still my pride and joy.

    Point is that those ROMS are essentially dead bar the old school which keep their memory alive. You can’t monetize something that nobody wants anymore, especially to the retro-gamers who feel they have already spent enough on cartridges/CD’s/ROM sets rendered obsolete.


  4. HvR

    July 15, 2019 at 23:52

    As long as they not package ROMs there is fookal Ninty can do about it even if they are not happy.

    Sort of piss me off that the publishers are not yet working with likes of Retroarch and making the ROMs available for purchase. Hell it is free money.

    Have a feeling the rerelease of the retro consoles had more to do with lawsuits than actual making fans happy.

    They seems to be stuck in 90s music publishers mode when MP3 came onto the scene.


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